BEDFORD - The Bedford County Development Association has received a $500,000 grant from the Pennsylvania First Program.
The state Department of Community and Economic Development awarded the money to help expand the Bedford County Business Center, in Bedford Township.
State Rep. Dick Hess, R-Bedford, played a role in helping with the expansion project, BCDA board Chairman Jeff Crist said.
"Dick Hess has been a long-time friend of economic development and was instrumental in securing funding for the first phase of the business center," Crist said in a statement. "Now he is helping us to expand. Rep. Hess shares BCDA's commitment to promoting entrepreneurial growth in Pennsylvania."
Hess is glad to help out.
"I am pleased to work with the outstanding people who make up the BCDA and to aid in the expansion of the business center," Hess said. "This is an example of how cooperation helps the effort to make our area stronger and improve our business climate."
The BCDA will use the grant to match a $650,000 federal grant approved last year by the Economic Development Administration. Additionally, $100,000 in equity will be used to fund the $1.24 million venture.
The project cost includes architectural and engineering, site development, construction, testing, inspection and legal and land development fees.
The new building center, connected to the existing center by a breezeway area, will add 15,480 square feet to the existing 24,000-square-foot complex. Construction on the building center will begin this spring, with completion slated for fall 2012.
The construction contract was awarded to Clark Contractors Inc. of Bedford, along with the architectural and engineering firm of Stiffler McGraw, which has an office in Bedford County.
Local suppliers and subcontractors include Corle Building Systems, New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co., Mortimer Electric, Baer Steel Erectors, Zimmerman Electric, Showalter Masonry and Impressive Floors.
About 40 people will work on the construction project.